Welcome to Prof. deBock’s Innovator Network Blog — Ideas for Teaching, Learning and Living!
This blog is part of my outreach to teachers, students and just about everyone else who wants to feel empowered (not overwhelmed) by the wave of new technologies that is emerging everyday. New emerging technologies have potential to enrich our lives in profound ways. But this is not an alpha-geek clubhouse. Rather my work here (and in webinars and other speaking engagements) is to show and teach “regular folks” that there are easy-to-use technologies that anyone can learn to use without being a “techie!”
But even beyond teaching tools, I write about ideas and culture and find excellent resources that will expand your ideas about this amazing, wide-world we live in.
Sometimes I just want to make you smile!
You have my promise that I will post things that I personally think are worthwhile.
This blog was started in 2007 when I was employed by the Center for Teaching and Learning at Kaplan University. I was given an open-ended mandate by the then Provost of the University to help teachers find and use tools that will make them better teachers. I took that vague mandate and turned it into a faculty-led, grassroots initiative called the Innovations Lab. We supported faculty with micro-grants to explore tools and ideas. We created a vibrant webinar series that introduced new technologies to 1000’s of teachers. We supported user-groups interested in Second Life, Podcasting, Movie-making and sharing best-practices in a peer-led environment. We helped establish Kaplan University’s educational conference “KU Village”, and we even held a successful Literary Festival.
Some of my inspiration came from Kaplan’s founder Stanley H. Kaplan. In his memoir “Test Pilot” he wrote:
“My challenge as a teacher was to give students the tools they needed to get the job done. I had to keep students interested, keep them learning, keep them laughing, and — above all — build their confidence that they could succeed. I was the gentle nudger. I wanted them to love learning as much as I loved teaching. I used everything imaginable to stimulate the students — arguing, joking, teasing, cajoling, listening, deciphering, and probing. I dug deep into my bag of tricks and pulled out mnemonic devices… flash cards, scrawled blackboard diagrams, and flailing animated gestures.”
—Stanley H. Kaplan, “Test Pilot” page 37
I read these words and they still ring true to me and my personal mission with the Innovator Network.
On Saturday, December 31, 2011, Kaplan University eliminated my role in the Innovations Lab and thereby the Innovations Lab itself. The University and I came to an agreement that I could continue blogging at this URL and that the assets created for this blog would become my intellectual property after 12/31/2011.